The internet can substantially increase the ease and convenience of placing orders for securities. Online customers should not assume, however, that the Internet channel will always be available. Any computer system, whether it is yours, your Internet service provider's, or that of a financial services firm, may experience unscheduled outages or slowdowns for a variety of reasons. Although precautions are taken to enable systems to handle heavy use, neither T. Rowe Price, nor any other online financial service provider can promise complete reliability under all circumstances. Our system performance and that of others critical to the transaction process are subject to a variety of operational risks, including heavy stress during peak times and undetected hardware or software failures. The purpose of this message is to make sure online customers are aware of additional risks and suggest ways to reduce exposure to them.
Online Access—T. Rowe Price maintains sophisticated systems and employs experienced registered personnel to process transactions submitted via the Internet. However, information processing and communications systems, both those of T. Rowe Price and third-party vendors, are subject to occasional congestion, technological problems or, in extreme cases, outages. Beyond our proprietary systems, third-party providers include Nasdaq systems, market centers that execute orders, and quotation services. The failure of a critical system for a significant period of time may limit our ability to rapidly process an internet transaction.
In the Event of a Problem—Online customers typically employ the T. Rowe Price Account Access system to obtain account information and enter orders to trade securities. Should you experience problems accessing our website to enter a Brokerage order, for example, please call 1-800-225-7720 and place your order with a registered representative. If our website is down, we will honor our appropriate online commission rate for your order.
Note: Please keep in mind that if our website is unavailable during market hours, phone lines may be very busy, and calls will be handled in the order received. It is possible that losses may be incurred due to access difficulty in periods of high internet traffic or extended telephone wait times, although every effort is made to mitigate these circumstances.
Potential Delays—During what's referred to as a Fast Market, the stock market experiences significant volatility, and individual stocks may be subject to short-term price swings of unusually high magnitude. Wide price fluctuations and heavy trading are also characteristics of a Fast Market. The combination of high trading volume and rapid price movement creates risks beyond those always inherent in stock investing.
High trading volumes may also delay the execution of an order and result in an execution price significantly different than when the order was placed. This is especially true with volatile stocks, including internet stocks, and secondary market trading in initial public offerings ("IPOs"). High volumes may affect the speed at which an execution takes place and at which quotation and transaction data are provided. Further, automated execution systems may be shut down during periods of high volatility. In this event, orders are executed manually, thereby exacerbating delays.
Note: Customers should take extra care when attempting to cancel or replace orders during volatile periods. Delays in execution reporting may expose customers to the risk of double executions.
Types of Orders—Brokerage customers should consider what type of order to place based on market conditions and investment objectives. Market orders are executed at the next available market price. Limit orders are executed only at a specified price or better. Please reference the appropriate help screen for information regarding benefits and risks associated with each type of order. Although the Internet is a convenient channel through which to place orders, customers should bear in mind that it is not a direct link to the exchanges or other market centers. All orders must be routed to such market centers for execution.
Note: T. Rowe Price wants investors to make educated decisions, have reasonable expectations, and consider the inherent risks and rewards of electronic online investing. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Additionally, for a regulatory perspective, you may want to review the FINRA website concerning electronic investing.